Futsum Zeinasellassie and Cassandra Wertman win IR April Athlete of the Month Awards!

Futsum Zeinasellassie and Cassandra Wertman win IR April Athlete of the Month Awards!

Futsum Zeinasellassie  – Senior – North Central High School

By: Drake Sterling



Photo courtesy of John Nepolitan/ESPNHS


First of all, the decision to name Futsum IR’s April Athlete of the Month was not as easy as one might think. Barr Reeve’s Connor Sorrells gave him a hard run for his money. Ultimately though, when you break a 37 year old State Record, it’s hard to over look.

So a short mention of Sorrells is in order before we get back to Futsum. Connor ran blazing times, beginning on April 3rd when he ran 9:12.43 for 3200 in a dual meet with South Knox. The following week, with a late entry into the fast heat of the FC Miracle Mile, he took 7th overall in a time of 4:15.23. He followed that up with an incredible double at the Evansville Invitational on April 20th of 4:15.85 (1600) and 9:08.85 (3200). He raised the bar once more, going 9:02.80 for 3200 at the Eastern Relays.

So congrats, Connor! Keep up the great work and you may just end up as our May Athlete of the Month!

But back to FUTSUM!

Another factor Futsum had going against him for the month of April is the fact that one our criteria as Athlete of the Month is that you can only be chosen once per season. This means that for lack of a better term, “we have used our Futsum for the season”. If he goes on to break the record again or pull an Austin Mudd triple at the State Meet in June, we may be wishing we hadn’t pulled the trigger in April.

But there are no promises in our sport! So we decided that Futsum’s performance alone at the Arcadia Invitational was enough for us to feature him for the award.

For those who were living under a rock on April 7th, Futsum did break the 37 year old All-Time Best 3200 Record previously held by Hammond’s Rudy Chapa at 8:48.27. The race went out slow. Futsum’s splits are below:

1 Futsum Zeinasellassie 12 Ind. N Cen (In) 8:47.75
64.77 (64.77),2:17.44 (72.67),3:25.83 (68.40),4:33.37 (67.54),5:39.89 (66.53),6:48.75 (68.86),7:50.65 (61.91),3K-8:19.38 (28.73),8:47.75 (28.38)

Video Here: http://www.runnerspace.com/video.php?video_id=63920-Boys-3200-Invitational-Event-34-Arcadia-Invitational-2012

So as you can see, Zeinasellassie was just 4:33.37 at the 1600 and came back with a 4:14.38. That 1600 alone was a personal best for the North Central Senior. Better yet, his last 800 was 1:57.10 and his last 400 was 57.01…simply amazing.

Zeinasellassie is on a tear this season and the possibilities are endless. For what it’s worth, he showed the entire state that he has speed to boot in March, running 1:54.88 in a dual in late March. That time puts him third currently on the State Best list.

If the 3200 State Record wasn’t enough, Futsum announced on April 12th that he will be attending college at Northern Arizona University, joining his brother, Bahlbi Gebreyohanns as a Lumberjack. Gebreyohanns has excelled in his two seasons at NAU. He is currently 6th on the Big Sky Conference performance list for 5000 meters after running a personal best 14:20.76 on April 6th. Also of note, Bahlbi has run 30:39.95 for 10,000 meters, 8:31.72 for 300 meters, and 3:57.26 for 1500 meters this outdoor season.

The next two month’s should be VERY fun to watch for all of us Indiana Track and Field fans. Futsum will be going after Rudy Chapa’s State Meet 3200 record of 8:55.10. That mark shouldn’t be too hard to hit as Futsum ran 8:56.73 at the 2011 State Meet. He will also most likely, en route, be the first individual to every win the 3200 for 4 consecutive years. Also on the plate for Zeinasellassie should be a chance to take on New Jersey’s Edward Cheserek, who along with Futsum put on one of the most exciting Footlocker Cross Country Finals ever Video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkGmomwMDcM&feature=youtu.be&a. Cheserek has been running quite well this outdoor season as well, most notably running 29:42.31 for 10,000 meters, 13:57.04 for 5000 meters,  along with countless sub 9 and 4:0X performances.

Lastly of note, it was released this past month that Zeinasellassie has been added to the 2012 Adidas Grand Prix Dream Mile. The race which annually features multiple high school athletes chasing the elusive sub 4 minute mile. Last year, Lukas Verzbicas was able to break 4 (3:59.71) and this year, Cheserek will be the most likely candidate.

Congrats to Futsum and good luck in May and June! We at IR will be rooting for you the entire way!


Cassandra Wertman – Senior – Southridge High School 

By: Colin Altevogt – Girls Coordinator


Photo courtesy of IHSAA Sports


The defending champion in the discus and last year’s runner-up in the shot, Wertman won both events at the Throwers Showcase at Warren Central upon return from spring break. Those throws both set the state’s best up to that point. Wertman currently sits first in the shot put by over four feet and second in the discus to Rensselaer Central junior Chelsie Meeks. Wertman has qualified for the state finals in all three years in each throwing event and is looking for her fourth All-State performance in the shot this spring


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